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Innovation Challenge

The Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge

Deadline: March 15, 2019

OptumRx and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) invite middle/high school students and current student pharmacists to partner on the Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge! Student teams will collaborate to identify innovative solutions to medication or health-related problems in their communities. Email or call AACP at 703-479-3840 with questions.

Innovation Challenge.Packet

Innovation Challenge Project Scoring


  • Acne or skin disorders
  • Behavioral vs pharmacological management
  • Depression (coping mechanisms, social stigma)
  • Drug abuse (illegal, opioids, narcotics, prescriptions)
  • Immunization/vaccinations (flu, HPV pneumonia, by age)
  • Medications (side effects, costs, branding, myths)
  • Obesity or eating disorders
  • Poison prevention
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Tobacco use
  • Wellness (nutrition, healthy habits, stress management)

PROJECT STEPS: The student-led teams will:

  • Select a medication or health-related problem in the community.
  • Explore and discuss the current or potential role of pharmacists in addressing the problem.
  • Collaborate to develop possible solutions to address the problem.
  • Develop one or more materials for the target community as part of the solution, such as brochures, posters, social media or hashtags, webpages, videos, apps, photos, graphics, animations, devices, events, data, action plans, or other. Be creative!
  • Describe the problem, solution, and reflections in 3 short essays (2500 character limit per essay).
  • Design a video, slides, or other multimedia file for the Innovation Challenge judges that is visually appealing and provides an overview of the team’s work, including its problem, solution, and reflections.
  • Follow the instructions to submit required materials by the deadline.


  • The team members must include at least one middle/high school student and one student pharmacist.
  • Number of student pharmacists cannot exceed the number of middle/high school students on the team.
  • Only students who participate in the development of the solution or materials are deemed team members.
  • Student teams must lead the development of the solution and materials, rather than faculty.
  • Pharmacy faculty and others can serve as advisors, guest speakers, and in other supporting roles.


A primary goal of the Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge competition is to stimulate interest in pharmacy careers by exposing high school students to pharmacy or health-related problems with opportunities to create innovative community‐based solutions. It is also intended to encourage student pharmacists to advocate for the importance of the role of the pharmacist and demonstrate the impact pharmacists can make on population health.


  • Student members of the winning teams will receive an Innovation Challenge award certificate and letter.
  • Plaques will be awarded to the middle/high school and pharmacy college or school of each winning team.
  • A cash prize will be awarded to the middle/high school of each winning team to support STEM programs:
    • First place: $1000
    • Second place: $500
    • Third place: $250
  • A travel grant will be awarded to the pharmacy college or school of each winning team to attend the 2019 AACP Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL for an awards ceremony. A member of the winning team (preferred) or selected representative (e.g. CEO Dean) must register for the Annual Meeting before the travel grant will be issued. Meeting registration fees will not be waived:
    • First place: $500
    • Second place: $300
    • Third place: $200

Cash awards and travel grants will only be made payable to the appropriate institution and not an individual.


Want to join the Innovation Challenge but have a few questions? Email us at!


Whatever your interests, a career in pharmacy can be rewarding in a number of ways. Learn about all the opportunities pharmacy can offer.